Media Release
Friday June 30th 2017
- Merkel shows way forward for Turnbull by allowing free vote  
- Australia increasingly isolated from western mainstream
- German decision "bitter sweet" for German / Australian LGBTI community leader
- Civil unions again fail to provide full equality 
Australian equality advocates have welcomed reports that the German parliament has voted strongly in favour of marriage equality, saying the free vote allowed for German Government MPs shows the path forward for Australia.
The German vote comes just days after Chancellor, Angela Merkel, changed her position on marriage equality and leaves Australia increasingly isolated among western nations.
Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"Like many other Australian marriage equality supporters, I am happy tens of thousands of German same-sex partners will soon be able to marry but frustrated that Australia has fallen behind most other western countries."
"The silver lining for Australian supporters of marriage equality is that Angela Merkel's decision to allow a free vote for her centre right party increases pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to do the same."
"If Angela Merkel can show strong leadership by steering Germany to marriage equality through a free vote, why can't Malcolm Turnbull?"
German Australian LGBTI community leader, Daniel Witthaus, who has been challenging rural homophobia for twenty years and is the founder and CEO of rural LGBTI charity NICHE, said 
"The German Parliament's vote is bittersweet."
"It's wonderful that in my father's country a long-time social conservative like Angela Merkel can stare down internal party opposition to marriage equality, but it's exasperating that in my own country a long-time social progressive like Malcolm Turnbull can't do the same."
"Germany's decision to adopt marriage equality is also a reminder that civil unions aren't enough."
"Germany has had civil unions for same-sex couples for many years, yet clearly they never provided the full legal and social equality that comes with marriage equality."
The German vote means Australia will now be counted among just a handful of western countries that don't allow same-sex couples to marry. They are Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Northern Ireland.
For a news report, click here
For a copy of this media release on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668, or Daniel Witthaus on 0427 346 206 or 0431 157 957.